Are You Happy In This Modern World?


The song Shallow has been playing a lot lately in my head. I think Bradley Cooper’s voice soothes me and the lyrics speak more than words. Today is International Day of Happiness and I borrowed a sentence from the song for this post, because I find it more provocative than the simple question “Are you happy?”.

Adding context to this old question seems to validate the fact that nowadays in order to be happy we need more than food, shelter, or a job to pay the bills. In this modern world, we need to feel that life has a purpose and a meaning; we need to feel that there is a reason greater than us to wake up every day and embrace what life has to give us.

A few months ago, I made the decision of leading a simpler life. I decided I don’t want to stick to a career that only gives me money and no opportunity to voice who I am. I decided I don’t want to run in circles like a chicken whose neck was cut off without mercy or care. I don’t want to live to work and pay bills. I don’t want to obey to unethical bosses and I don’t want to keep surrounded by people whose values have nothing to do with mine.

Since I made up my mind, I haven’t taken a huge leap into making my life sustainable. I haven’t been disciplined enough yet to organise my hours and make my days count. Some days I feel like I’m a turtle, walking slowly. I do have, however, a different attitude towards myself and the way my life unfolds. When I catch myself being impatient, I smile and stand back. I remind my impatient self that Rome wasn’t build in a day and so far I keep being a one-woman business show, having to manage my own motivation, mind, and body on top of tasks I don’t feel excited about like having to analyse and write down my data.

The road I’m walking in is misty and I can’t see much further than two steps ahead, but I accept that as being just right. I have this big mental photograph of my destination, a beautiful place under the sun, and that’s from where I’m writing you these words while also listening to Bradley and Lady Gaga’s song. The sun is burning my nose and the top of my cheeks. My heart is at peace and mindless of the uncertainty. The Now becomes all I need and I feel content.

All in all, I’m happier than I have ever been since I left Lisbon in September 2015. I don’t know if happiness is the right word, because I feel a more peaceful kind of happiness. I’m happier because even though I don’t have the mind, the body, the energy, and the safety of a standard life plan I have my dreams and I shamelessly know what I stand for. I know myself a bit more and I’m no longer afraid of being different. I’m no longer afraid of doing and wanting to trek a different road.

I don’t mind living in this modern world, but in order to be happy in it I need to live on my own pace and terms. I need to embody the purpose and the meaning I found for my life. While pursuing that, I’m happy, living under the sun and breathing the air from the country side. Now please join me, sit with me on this wooden bench and tell me: are you happy in this modern world?

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43 thoughts on “Are You Happy In This Modern World?

  1. So very true! We need to find a way to do what makes us happy and content, and that often does take a lot of little steps that take you in the right direction. It can be difficult to think you need everything to come together and be sorted all at once but the journey does help to make it so much more of an accomplishment and something to be valued. X

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s so very true… sometimes reaching the right destination involves a lot of turnarounds and roads without exit. I like to believe we are always on the right place at the right time – most of the time, we just don’t like to accept it haha x

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I wish I could say that I was happy in this modern world, but sadly, the financial burdens that threaten the removal of anything our family has such as our home or car looms over my head everyday. It’s a tough world out there that is driven by money and greed. The little people suffer without having a bone thrown at them.

    While I wish I could just sit here and do what I love and be happy, sadly, it won’t pay the bills quick enough which forces most people to live a paycheck to paycheck life and settle for a job they hate. Oh how I wish I didn’t have to live to work and pay bills! It’s very tough!

    I love how courageous and straight forward you are with life. Sitting on a wooden bench with you and discussing life sounds like an amazing time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That really drags us down. I had a time in which I had to financially support my parents, it was like living with your heart on your mouth. Today I was thinking about financial wellbeing, which we don’t usually hear about. Perhaps because it’s so out of reality to so many. I hope things only get better for you and all of us. Thankfully, we don’t have to pay to dream yet. 🀐 Thank you for coming by and for your input, it was really important and it gave a lot of food for thought β™₯️

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  3. I feel I am happy and embracing being me wholeheartedly, and being the real me, rather than being afraid to show my differences. I am comfortable with who I am and what my values are and for this I am happy. 10 years ago, I was happy too, however I wasn’t being true to myself. I do think you have to live life at your own pace like you say and within your own set of values. If something doesn’t sit right with you, then if possible we have to change it. Great post, and certainly makes me think! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Very thought provoking! I’ve asked myself several times if I’m happy and I haven’t found the answer. And having the ability to be truly happy is my main goal for 2019. It may take a very long time but I hope I get there.

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    1. Thanks, that’s nice to know 😊 Beware though that I still go through the motions haha. After the high under the sun came the blues of a joy hungover. I believe the more we uncover, the freer (and happier) we become though πŸ€–

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  5. This is amazing! I am so proud and envious of you. I dream of making that leap. I make small steps toward my happiness and work at it each day. I think the biggest problem is that my job produces a high amount of stress for me on a very constant basis. It’s also very rewarding so it’s just tough.. what a beautiful and thought provoking post! πŸ’•πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, don’t be envious because everyday life right now doesn’t seem that good. Not knowing exactly how to become sustainable is a struggle, but I want to believe I will find it out. Stress at work was one of the things that led me to want to risk to create something for myself – well, I mean when stress became daily anxiety and then daily depression. I get the feeling you enjoy your work and you’re on that stress level that is actually healthy for us. I hope I can have that kind of stress soon! πŸ˜„πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really enjoyed this post, thank you for that. I have followed my own path that is dedicated to maintaining my mental health and well being and through those actions I have slowly been able to find my joy. The modern world has actually been an asset for this, I simply manage very carefully whom I will engage with and try to surround myself with those who will lift me up, and your attitude definitely reinforces that perspective.
    All my best, Brie
    aka J. Avery Cain
    Be Kind, Do No Harm

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Brie! That’s really wonderful – and admirable! I find doing all that very hard but I have been working on it. Choosing who to give attention and energy to is great wisdom these days. I’m so happy for you and for the path you’re choosing to build ❀️

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  7. To be useful seems to be the pursuit, rather than to be just happy. Maybe that’s the difference, the way in which happiness is defined.
    My happiness didn’t come from feeling “useful”. I had positions, responsibilities, exc… My happiness is in my sense of belonging, contentment, and growth. So much for me has changed, that anything consistent requires extra work and nurturing. Where I am now in life, in consistent and routine to a degree… I am content and happy πŸ™‚ yes!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s so nice to read! 😊 And that’s a very good point – feeling useful doesn’t seem enough to me too and maybe that’s why the blues sometimes come knocking. The experience of being seen and nurtured by someone else, in the long run, are two things that I constantly crave. I think a lot whether it’s healthy or too many high expectations in a world where people are more and more disconnected emotionally. Thank you for your nice comment and input, made me reflect a lot now β™₯️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful! Never give up. I totally agree with your thoughts on being free. The job life is very hectic and can sometimes feel like you’re sentenced to it. I hope to get back to doing my own thing after I save a bunch of money and have a new plan following my passions more. After a 2 1/2 year shot at self employment and making quite a big debt from it, I feel relieved now to have a steady paycheck, but that will never beat freedom to do what I love. I wish you the best on your journey and have a feeling you’ll be a huge success!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, thank you for sharing your experience and how you see it right now. It’s nice to know that although you had to come back to having a steady paycheck you still didn’t lose the dream and the willingness to make it real. I hope you can balance your finances soon and then try again. I’m honestly pondering to apply for a side job to release the pressure too, it’s just scary to apply for 1) a job totally different from what I have been doing all these years, and 2) after so much time without having to apply for a job. I’m trusting that things will eventually fall into place for both of us as long as we keep rising each day β™₯️

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      1. I totally understand about it being scary to apply for a job that’s different than what you’ve been doing. I was lucky that I could go back to my previous job where I do what I’ve been doing as self-employment – listing online auctions, and most of my co-workers are still there. In addition, the circumstances are much better there than they were before. If I didn’t have that option, I would have had an extremely hard time applying for a different job. On the first year of self employment I worked at the county fair which was way out of my comfort zone but it was an enjoyable experience even though I only made it 5 days. I would have made it longer but they wanted me to work 13 hour days with only one day off per week. It wasn’t doable with trying to keep up with the self employment, but part time would have been perfect. For me, new experiences are always out of my comfort zone but I usually end up enjoying and/or appreciating them once I do it. Most of the scariness is in my head. Not saying that’s how it is for you, but maybe that helps in some way. Financial pressure is an awful thing to experience.

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  9. I can realte to this post! People often believe working themselves to death for huge materialistic items will make them happy however I have to disagree. So much more to life and happiness comes from within.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Alyssa
    THESACREDSPACEAP.COM

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True, I also see that often. I used to say that I would be happier with a small salary and doing dishes than doing what I had to do / still have to do. Yet, it was very hard to get such type of job. It’s a fun story, I might do a post about it. πŸ˜… Thanks for coming by lovely!

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  10. ooooooooooooooo you’ve done it again. I’ll say that with anything in life you’ve got the love the process more than the end result. Everybody wants to be in this place or that place, but if you don’t love what you have to do to get there, you’ll never be happy. Just carry on living your truth, you’ll be good good πŸ™‚πŸ™‚πŸ™‚

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  11. I think in the modern world we live in today, sometimes you can be really happy with everything around you but other times it’s hard to like the modern world. But we all live in this modern world so we have to learn to love it and enjoy it.

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